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The Lost Isle ... of Nantucket

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INV ONLY The Lost Isle ... of Nantucket

Post by The Nekromonga February 27th 2023, 1:22 am

ANYWHERE

The call to adventure comes in many forms, as it does tonight. When the night is deep and the common man goes to sleep, the telltale signs of the paranormal manifests itself in blinking lights, electronics going on the fritz, and a sudden chill from no readily apparent source envelops the room. Perhaps in the back of the mind, a spidery piano chord. Then it comes, the letter of notice in the yellowish-brown letter envelope, slid under the doorway, whether to the house, the toilet stall, even the seediest motel. The letter addressed to the recipient and signed by the four I’s of the Institute. The content of the letter meanwhile, was in a clearly older, type-written font.

Dear Associate,

Due to the pressing rise of Anomalous Events throughout the globe, an invitation is offered to you as Temporary Associate Status of the Iskatonic International Institute of Inquiry. This letter contains psycho-mnemonic effect that will instantaneously fill you in on the goals of the Institute.

The situation in brief: roughly 40 days ago, The NYPD was notified of a missing persons case for four minors and their dog who had went to Nantucket, which is considered to be within the Boston-Eugenia Anomalous Zone. 30 days ago, The Coast Guard lost contact with the rescue team sent to locate them; 14 days ago, the Institute had sent in an investigative team and also did not return. The worst must be assumed, and now we require agents of extraordinary capabilities to investigate the missing teams.

Due to the scarcity of transport resources, and the unwillingness of most to travel within the Anomalous Zone, the Institute has acquired the cooperation of a fishing vessel, the ‘Marlene’, which docks at Greenport, Long Island. Identify yourself to the captain, one Mr. William James, and fellow associates with the pass phrase, ‘Tis a fine ship, she is’. Once assembled, Mr. William James shall transport you to Nantucket.

God speed, Associate.


LONG ISLAND

The sun was low in the sky, barely illuminating through the gray overcast. As evening rolled in, the many strange lights of the Boston-Eugenia zone made for a most eerie, otherworldly sight, as reality strained to contain its ever-expanding borders. The small wooden docks were being pummeled by the waves, as the rather old and highly questionable ‘Marlene’ bobbed up and down in the water. The street lights were just coming online, but the Marlene was lit by the dull yellow light of archaic oil lamps, and the hunched form of an old, wizened man in yellow coat making sailing preparations was all that stood out in the bleak gray.

“…Avast ye, landlubber. Who goes there, says I?” He mutters in a gravely, old sea dog of a voice.

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INV ONLY Re: The Lost Isle ... of Nantucket

Post by drazukeloski March 4th 2023, 10:17 am

It had been the usual night of wandering from alley to alley while using his personal radio to listen to the police scanner. One never knew when those poor bastards would stumble across something out of their league. The Artificer suddenly stops in his tracks, a tingle going up his spine as he hears the faintest tap of a footstep. He instantly spins about to face the direction of the noise. By that point, whoever he had turned to face had already run off. He could see the man sprinting down the street. He was just about to make pursuit when he saw it on the ground. A letter with the words 'Mauled Mask' written on the front.

He crouches down to pick up the letter and carefully tear it open. The eyes under that mask narrow as he begins scanning over the words. Then it happens. A surge of info flows into his mind, causing a hiss of pain as he holds his head, stumbling around the alley a bit. To most, that information would have entered their mind unimpeded. To him, with the training he had gone through, mental resistance to outside influences was instinctual. Once the flow of information passes, an irritated wheeze can be heard from under the mask as he crouches down once again to pick up the letter. "Fucking port cities..." He stares at the letter again ponderously. He'd heard about The Institute. With what his night job was, it was only a matter of time before he ended up dealing with them. He just....didn't expect it to be so sudden. He honestly hoped it would never happen. Considering the kinds fo entities he dealt in, the fact that they were calling him was....really bad. Artificer places the letter in his coat with a sigh, and begins making his way towards home with hurried steps. It would be a long few days of preparing for the trip and sitting on planes. Whatever the Insitute was pulling him into, he hoped it was important.

Eventually, the Artificer found himself standing before a run down dock with a questionable ship at the end of it. He hoped it was more durable than it looked. Upon the captain calling out to him, he steps out of the shadows, his silver colored mask shining in the light slightly. "I'm the Artific-" He sighs, resigning himself to using the name earned by his reputation. One earned by the claw marks across the front of his mask. "I'm the Mauled Mask. I believe our mutual benefactor wanted you to take me across the waters?" He looks around, eyes narrowed under his mask. "Will there be anyone else joining us? Or Am I doing this job alone?"

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INV ONLY Re: The Lost Isle ... of Nantucket

Post by elephantlord March 4th 2023, 10:11 pm

In a city that never slept, Montessa found herself a chronic insomniac. New York, despite its recent fall and reconstruction, was still like that big shiny apple a body could worm its way into. There was too much invested there to let it truly die, and so would opportunities ever flock to it.  

Yet it had been a particularly energetic night when a strange letter was left on her doorstep. She'd been tripping pretty high on something after taking a rather good looking boy home and hadn't noticed the prissily folded letter on her stoop until 4 hours of sleep and three cups of coffee had passed. Monte has glared blurrily down at the letter.  She picked it up and, assuming it to be a bill or message from her landlord, promptly crumbled it up and tossed it in the trash.  

Later that night after the fight with that magic shark, Monte had come home and taken off her coat, only to find the letter sitting on her countertop. She opened it and read only two lines before snorting and tearing it up, then used the pieces to line her hamster cage.

By that morning, her hamster had escaped and the letter was sitting primly on the pillow next to her. Thoroughly pissed now, Monte took the letter and chucked it out of her 6th story window.

...only for that self-same letter to fly in a few moments later and slap her in the face.  

"Ok, fine!  I'll read it!"



The cab ride had been boring as hell. Unlike what you'd typically think of cab drivers, the guy conveying her to her destination had no interesting stories. He'd been out of the town when the city was partially destroyed, and seemed to be almost fetishistic about avoiding anything interesting that happened around him.  

To spice up his life, Monte had offered to do a number of weird or perverted things just to get a rise out of him. The cabbie merely stared at her with the patient apathy of a person who had been over that particular brand of shit years ago.  

Understanding at last that she had met her match, Montessa paid her fair and tipped generously, if nothing else than to ward off the eldritch being of elemental tedium that she had been afflicted with.  She stood on the Long Island pier and took a deep breath of the salty sea air, only to immediately light a cigarette. She strolled down the boardwalk, feeling downright classy. Very noir.  All she needed now was a fedora and a classy dame she could make inappropriate comments to.

And there was her dame in question. Her purple eyes lit up with feline mischief when she saw poor Arty-farty looking all lost and alone. She snuck up on the hero, her smile as big as the whole ocean. "ARTY!" She exclaimed, as if they were long lost siblings.  "I haven't seen you in a dog's age.  How's it hanging?"
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INV ONLY Re: The Lost Isle ... of Nantucket

Post by The Nekromonga March 9th 2023, 12:50 am

7:45pm

The old scatterbrained sailor walked with a limp, likely from old age and arthritis, as he approached ‘Mauled Mask’. He approached close enough to show him the unkempt beard, and the strong smell of alcohol upon his breath. “An old sea dog, I may be, but I see… ye be them queer folk, with the unchristian trickery. Aye, there be other queer folks, wishing passage upon mine ship. Now thee maketh haste to Nantucket, where whatever work o’ the devil that took Boston hath taken over that place s’well. Marlene be ready to depart by the eighth bell, our voyage, Neptune willing, concludes before the ninth, in time to fill our bellies with nourishment.”

When Montessa arrived, she was not spared the performance of this character. “Aye, now they send a harlot to sail upon Marlene.” For someone who thought her a harlot, William sure took a long time to look at her. “But sailor’s medicine I’ve great need, so to Nantucket spirit thee, I shall. On my word, ‘tis I swear.”

Of course, as the evening rolled on, the sky above rumbled, and streaks of lightning flashed across the sky. Thunder rolled with a mighty bass across the water. It started to rain hard, bringing a sudden chill. That was when a stretch limo rolled in, dropping off two figures. A tall Asian woman with a strange, mechanical prosthetic eye, and wearing a thick coat. She carries a large umbrella, for herself and her companion, a shorter, not so athletic young man in a vest and fedora, carrying two suitcases and a backpack. He seemed to struggle with his luggage.
The unencumbered lady walked down the dock and addressed William directly. “Good evening captain. We are assembled I see. And a fine ship we sail on tonight.” Ellen said with a rather crestfallen sarcasm at the sight of the ship, but wanting to stick to protocol and utter the pass phrase.

“Blast, Jupiter doth picked a unwell time to relieve himself; our fortunes already be turning! Queer Harlots and nancy boys, by Neptune’s beard, what sin of my past demands this reckoning. All aboard then, for the swifter our journey, the swifter we shall part. All aboard thas’ comin’ aboard!” William decided to announce loudly, despite all his passengers being within 5 feet of him. He hobbled onto his ship, which was now swaying with the agitated waves.

“Roger, take our gear and stow it in a locker.” Ellen commanded her companion, who walked like a penguin, carrying so many items.

“Y-Yes ma’am. Good evening, by the way. It’s good to be working with you all.” He answered then politely addressed the group, before proceeding aboard.

“I am Ellen Nakamura, a member of the Institute. My assistant is Roger Macy, a linguist and researcher. I’m sure you have questions; we know precious little, but, that’s the reason for this undertaking. Come, let’s get acquainted more onboard if we’re going to work this case.”

Ellen would converse as best she could despite the storm, and her expectations, low as they were, were dashed further upon trudging through the narrow, dimly lit halls to their quarters. The crew quarters, or rather, quarter, was a single cramped room with bunkbeds dominating two walls, the entrance lockers a third and a table and small, blurry porthole and table a fourth. The center of the room was a single small round table bolted to the floor, with four seats equally treated. The steel floor was littered with empty bottles, discarded fast food cartons, and plastic utensils. Despite Roger's presence in the room, a couple of rodents were chewing on a half eaten piece of fish in the corner, and the room smelled strongly of droppings, tobacco and alcohol. The only thing of worth in this rat infested hole was a half full bottle of Johnny Walker hidden away in a cabinet.

Roger was busy securing their gear to a pipe, since the lockers were filled up with coats and fishing nets. “Oh, hello, It’s… a bit filthy down here, maybe on deck is a better place to while away the trip?”

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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INV ONLY Re: The Lost Isle ... of Nantucket

Post by drazukeloski July 3rd 2023, 12:06 am

Artificer would have disputed the term 'work of the devil' if he could have...but with those runes he made use of? The old sea captain wasn't far off. Though, devilish or not, they were all he had in a sea of ever increasing horrors beyond his comprehension. The masked man nods his agreement. "Making it back in time for dinner would be nice...but I've my doubts about that happening." Making small talk with the sailor was weird. Artificer found himself analyzing the man's speech patterns for a few seconds every time he opened his mouth.

He's so occupied with the sailor that Monte actually managed to sneak up on him. The sudden loud noise causes him to turn about, reflexively pulling the brass knuckles from his coat to slip them onto his fingers as he turns about to face the source. It's afterwards that he processes that his name...or at least a cutesy version of it, had been said. The familiar face before him wasn't exactly a comforting one, though it was enough to make him put away the knuckles again. "Monte." He greets simply. His shoulders slump. Why here? Why now? What reason could she possibly have for appearing by a boat to Nantucket? A deep breath is heard from under that mask. "A dog's age is much too short..." He mutters, shaking his head. Speaking up fully now, he gives Monte a proper response. "I'm alive. At least as far as my own perception seems to dictate."

As the old man proceeds to call Monte a harlot, Artificer looks back at him. "Watch your tone, if you please." Judging from his reaction, he either had a particular dislike for that word, or he had a modicum of respect for Montessa. It was hard to say which with his even tone and the mask hiding his expressions.

His attention is drawn by the sound of a car. As she approaches with the man dragging behind, he turns to face her. "Hm..." He ponders for a moment, trying to decide if she's who she thinks she is...Well, who she was specifically, he did not know. But he had a wager at the purpose of her presence. Luckily, she speaks to the captain, proving his suspicions. The eyes of his mask meet the formally dressed cyborg. "Here to represent your organization I assume?" A slight grunt leaves the artificer as the captain spoke once more. It was at that moment that he decided that the sailor was likely going to get on his nerves after prolonged exposure.

Mauled mask watched the small man waddle by with all the luggage. Without saying anything, he makes his way over to the man, taking up one of the suitcases in his arm so that the fellow wasn't carrying it all alone. While doing that, he would walk alongside the cyborg woman towards the ship.

Ellen's introduction gets a slight nod. "I assume I need no introduction since you found me. Considering our proximity to the water, I'd wager you've dug up something....within the lines of what my supernatural learnings involve. This the first time your institute has faced such a thing? There's a reason I'm not based near the sea."

Upon stepping into the room after Ellen and Roger, he once again goes silent. In this case though, one could tell it wasn't a cryptic masked man silence. No, this was a silence of disappointment. His head turns as he looks about for a moment. He then steps aside, allowing Montessa to get a look at the room...and make sure she doesn't yell in his ear again.

"Then we have to be near the captain...and standing in the rain that'll soon be coming down. Somehow....I'm liking it more down here." Emphasizing his point, he puts down the suitcase he'd been carrying and gently kicks it in Roger's direction so it wheels towards him. He'd know more about what to do with it.
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INV ONLY Re: The Lost Isle ... of Nantucket

Post by elephantlord August 11th 2023, 5:05 am

Now, normally being called a harlot would have made the speaker target numero uno on her mischief list, but there was something about Arty rising so gallantly to her defense that put off such notions. Instead, she left the salty captain to his hypertension and refixed her attention on her heroic antagonist. She gave him a cheshire grin, and produced the illusion of a ridiculously wide-brimmed fedora on her head.

"There.  Now we just need to get the captain to say at least three more mysterious and mystical things and we can be in a proper novel.  Ooo, do you think we'll be going to an island full of giant animals?  If a big ape comes and snatches me, you are on monkey murdering duty."  She gave Arty a poke in the chest as they began to follow Ellen and her beleaguered assistant. Monte put the back of her hand against her forehead and sighed melodramatically, "I promise to scream and kick minimally.  I must keep up my dignity as a damsel."

"Oooo!" She suddenly exclaimed, "Which reminds me, how did the thing with the guy and the statue and the pew pew! work out?"  Montessa emphasized the last bit with a pair of finger guns and the appropriate sound effects.

Now, while it seemed that the Mountebank was entirely absorbed in her conversation with her archnemesis, she was busily sizing up the unknowns on this voyage.  While she was a bit reckless, paradoxically Monte took the preliminaries for a caper rather seriously. After all, if you wanted to do the really brilliant crimes, you needed to have a proper foundation to do them on.  

First, the Captain. While he initially seemed like a cranky old salt to Monte's ear, the way he spoke and the things he said were quietly throwing shivers up her spine.  He bore watching, if nothing other than for flavor.

Second, Ms. Ellen Nakamura.  No noir adventure was complete without a villain sporting an eyepatch, and this lady sure fit that bill.  She practically reeked of evil supervillain.  Not ones like Jack or that asshole that screwed over Boston, but more like the middle management sort.  The villains that conducted minion interviews and said their resumes were very interesting but they didn't employ their sort of person.  

Third, Roger.  Of all the three, he was the one most suspicious. Short, innocuous, seemingly mild mannered?  He was definitely up to some shit.  She watched him out of the corner of her eye, like a mouth breathing harbinger of doom.  Oh yeah, I'm onto you, you little shit.

"Yes.  Let's go up to the deck, Roger," she said with icy suspicion.  She pointed to fingers at her eyes then pointed back at him with one, adding an acidic glare for good measure.
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